In the first significant trade of “Deadline Week”, it’s been reported that the Toronto Raptors have agreed to send Jermaine O’Neal and Jamario Moon to the Miami Heat in exchange for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks.
It takes some time to determine a trade’s winner and loser from a basketball perspective, but this trade, and presumably several more this season, was financially motivated, and from that standpoint it’s much easier to assess its effect on each team.
Obviously the Jermaine O’Neal experiment in
The Miami Heat, on the other hand, approached this trade from a basketball perspective, seemingly replacing Marion’s production (12 ppg, 8.7 rpg in 36 minutes/game) and addressing a need for a paint presence as they look to make a run at the playoffs (and keep D-Wade happy). It’s no secret that Pat Riley is fan of big men, and he’s obviously betting that’s what he’s getting in whatever is left of Jermaine O’Neal, who, to be fair, has played well, if not consistently, this season, but has been banged up. He should be a factor on defense and on the glass, but hardly represents a decent value. At just under $23 million, O’Neal’s on the books for more money next season than any player except Tracy McGrady. In the current environment, not many teams are likely to trade for a role player with that big a price tag, even one with an expiring contract- like it or not, the Heat are stuck with J.O. through next season.
On a brighter note,